Virat Kohli is a certified modern great. He proved that he is not only an inspirational captain but a batsman beyond the class of his peers. Virat Kohli also puts to rest the demons of his 2014 England tour with a century of top quality in the first Test at Edgbaston in England.
A U19 prodigy, Virat Kohli came into the news for leading the U19 team to the Youth World Cup in Malaysia. From then on, he was brought into the Royal Challengers Bangalore in IPL 2008 and made his debut for India in ODIs against Sri Lanka in 2008 as an opener. He made his Test debut against West Indies in 2011 and since then, has gone on to break record after record in all the three formats of the game.
Earmarked as a future captain and successor to MS Dhoni, Kohli took over the reins in Tests in 2014, after the surprise retirement of MS Dhoni. Kohli was then made full-time captain after Dhoni gave up the job in 2016. Since then, he led India to many new heights, including the no.1 ranking in Tests.
However, Virat Kohli has achieved much more as a batsman in Tests. He has scored a record 6 double hundreds, all as captains and joint most by an Indian and has the best conversion rate after the legendary Sir Don Bradman with 22 centuries and 16 half-centuries, and has scored a century in each innings of a Test.
12 of his 22 centuries have come in foreign land and 9 of those 12 have come in Australia, New Zealand, England and South Africa. This proves his ability to master the conditions and score at will against quality oppositions.
Keeping that in mind, Team COC brings to you five of the best centuries scored by Virat Kohli in foreign conditions, where the other Indian batsmen struggled.
Check out the Top 5 Amazing overseas Test centuries by Virat ‘King’ Kohli
119 vs. South Africa, Johannesburg, 2013
One of the finest centuries overseas in trying conditions by Virat Kohli was the innings of 119 against South Africa at Johannesburg in the first Test of the 2013 tour to South Africa.
MS Dhoni won the toss and keeping in mind the nature of Joburg pitch, decided to bat first in trying conditions against South Africa. South Africa boasted of bowlers like Vernon Philander, Dale Steyn, Morne Morkel, Imran Tahir and Jacques Kallis.
The South African bowlers put the Indian batsmen under pressure from the onset as both openers were back in the pavilion for 24 runs. Virat Kohli however, was unaffected by the chaos around him and along with Ajinkya Rahane (47), slowly but steadily took India towards a respectable 1st innings score.
Kohli was finally dismissed by Kallis, caught by Duminy for 119 off 181 balls with 18 fours. India managed to make 280 in their first innings.
Indian bowlers then bowled out the Proteas for 244 with Ishant and Zaheer picking up four wickets each. India replied with 421 runs in their second innings with Cheteshwar Pujara making 153 and Kohli replying with a sublime 96 runs. India put up a target of 458 runs for South Africa; something that they reached within touching distance of.
Virat Kohli was named the Man of the Match for his innings of 119 and 96, and his century was ranked amongst the best when it came to centuries by Indian batsmen in South Africa.
115 & 141 vs. Australia, Adelaide, 2014
The first Test of the 2014 Border-Gavaskar Trophy in Australia was played at Adelaide Oval and saw some scintillating batting from both teams.
Australia batted first and scored 517/7d with centuries from David Warner (145), Michael Clarke (128) and Steve Smith (162*). India managed to reply with 444 with M Vijay making 53, Pujara making 73, Rahane making 62, but the best innings of all came from Virat Kohli, who scored a brilliant 115 in his captaincy debut for India, as MS Dhoni missed the match due to injury.
Australia smashed 290/5d with Warner scoring his second ton of the match, a brilliant 102 and Smith scoring 52. This set India a daunting target of 364 runs.
We saw the first streak of famous aggressiveness of Virat Kohli as India went after the target, instead of playing out the remainder of the Test. M Vijay scored 99 and Virat Kohli scored a single-handedly brilliant 141 in 175 balls with 16 fours and 1 six to keep India in the game. His innings was an important one, as Team India went from trying to draw matches to go after the target and glory.
Kohli was sublime in both of his innings and his mastery of farming the strike against a bowling attack consisting of Mitchell Johnson, Ryan Harris, Nathan Lyon, and Peter Siddle. He dominated the bowlers and became the first Indian captain to score a century in both innings of a Test and first to do it on his captaincy debut.
169 vs. Australia, Melbourne, 2014
India came into the third Test of the Border-Gavaskar series of 2014 0-2 in the series. MS Dhoni was back as captain, relieving Kohli of his leadership duties and freeing him to haunt the Australian bowlers.
Australia batted first and put up a score of 530 with Steve Smith top scoring with 192. India was steady in their reply with Vijay making 68. However, the partnership of the match came from Virat Kohli (169) and Ajinkya Rahane (147), who put up 262 runs for the fourth wicket.
The pair hit the Australian bowlers to all parts of the ground. Virat Kohli was more punishing to the bowlers, especially after being hit by Johnson on his helmet, which felled him and thanks to some verbal volleys by Australian team towards him, riled Kohli enough to take them on and put on a batting masterpiece.
His 169 came off 272 balls with 18 fours and it was a brilliant display of aggressive batting and hitting all over the Melbourne Cricket Ground.
153 vs. South Africa, Centurion, 2018
India went to Centurion for the second Test against South Africa in their first series of 2018 1-0 down in the series. South Africa batted first and scored 335 with Aiden Markram making 94 and Ashwin picked 4/113.
India replied with 307 with just Virat Kohli standing tall amidst the rubble of Indian batting lineup. M Vijay made 46 and Ashwin made 38 in the other noticeable contributions; but the star of the match for India proved to be the captain once again, as he stroked a sublime 153.
His 153 came off 217 balls with 15 fours and was filled with strokes that were too good to watch against the likes of a rampaging Rabada, Morkel, Philander, and Ngidi.
149 vs. England, Edgbaston, 2018
Ever since India landed in England for the full tour against the host nation, Virat Kohli was constantly reminded of his failures in the 2014 Test series by the media over there. Kohli showed that he was in good touch during the limited overs series.
England batted first in the opening Test at Edgbaston, which is underway. They scored 287, despite looking good for a score of over 350 at one stage. However, R Ashwin’s 4/62 and Shami’s three wickets pegged them back.
India started off nicely with a 50-run opening stand. But then Sam Curran happened as he removed the top three wickets in just eight deliveries. However, Virat Kohli stood as a rock amidst the rubble, as wickets fell around him in heaps.
England helped Kohli by dropping him twice on 21 and 51 (both by Dawid Malan) and Kohli needed no more invitation to take the most out of the given chances. Kohli was the last man out as India scored 274 from 100/5.
Kohli scored 149 off 225 balls with 22 fours and 1 six and he farmed strike brilliantly with tailenders, even stitching a 57-run partnership with the last man Umesh Yadav, who scored just 1 run.
With this century, Virat Kohli gave a fitting reply to his distracters over his previous record in England and he did it in style.